Rights groups in Turkey criticize Gulf over carnage in Egypt

The Gulf bloc, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has become the target of Turkish government commissions and nongovernmental human rights organizations for keeping silent regarding the latest massacre by Egyptian security forces

Rights groups in Turkey criticize Gulf over carnage in Egypt

World Bulletin/News Desk

As the death toll in Egypt reaches 900 according to official records --1,400 according to the Muslim Brotherhood's numbers -- the Gulf bloc, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has become the target of Turkish government commissions and nongovernmental human rights organizations for keeping silent regarding the latest massacre by Egyptian security forces of protestors in Egypt.

While the West voiced its concerns about excessive violence in Egypt, the Gulf countries opted to stay quiet on the topic. Many international organizations have brought the world's attention to human rights abuses in Egypt; United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is alarmed by ongoing developments in Egypt and the widespread outbreak of violent protests and excessive use of force in handling them.

“The Gulf States fear that democracy in Egypt would serve as a model in their countries, which eventually would lead to the end of their reign,” Secretary-General of the Human Rights Association (İHD) İsmail Poyraz told Today's Zaman “Otherwise, it is not possible to explain Saudi Arabia's attitude on the indefensible situation in Egypt where civilians were killed,” he added.

Saudi King Abdullah described street protests by the Muslim Brotherhood as representing "terrorism and sedition."

“Staging a coup against a democratically elected government and the slaughter after the coup constitute crimes against humanity. International courts should step in to start the legal process concerning the massacres in Egypt. Moreover, Saudi Arabia and other countries should be investigated for giving support to crimes against humanity,” Poyraz stated.

“The UN Human Rights Council may instigate an investigation into the human rights violations that are being committed in Egypt, and in doing so it may take into account the help that has been offered by other states in this respect,” Assistant Professor Fleur van Leeuwen, a human rights law scholar from Boğaziçi University, told Today's Zaman.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait gave a total of $12 billion to Egypt following the recent struggles in the country

“Outdated and archaic political regimes that serve the West's imperialist ambitions can no longer be sustained. That's why all they [the Gulf countries] panicked, and gave their support to coup regime in Egypt which massacres its own people,” said Ayhan Sefer Üstün, the head of Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Investigation Commission.

The gulf rulers are alarmed by popular Islamist movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which benefited the most from the downfall of entrenched dictators after 2011 and see those movements as a threat to the principle of a hereditary monarchy.

“The incidents in Egypt acted as a mirror for Muslim countries. The authoritarian regimes estimated that the turmoil in Egypt would end in a couple of days and that they would not be exposed as coup supporters. Only a small portion of the oil revenue is spent on the public and the rest goes to the crown. Once democracy is achieved [in the Gulf countries], people will elect their governments to serve them,” Üstün told Today's Zaman.

On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stepped up his criticism of Muslim countries, saying: “The Islamic world is like the brothers of the Prophet Yusuf, who threw him down the well. As in the case of the brothers of the Prophet Yusuf, Allah will shame those in the Islamic world betraying their brothers and sisters in Egypt.” Although Erdoğan did not name specific states as supporting the coup in Egypt, he noted that there are rich people in the Islamic world as well as poor, and it is those rich people of the Islamic world who support the dictators.

“The situation of the African Muslim countries is obvious. Which of them did you help or support?” asked Erdoğan, who had previously underlined that some foreign countries that did not financially support the government of Mohammed Morsi during his one-year presidency have now pledged to provide $16 billion to the coup regime in Egypt.

Previously, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ had criticized the Gulf countries, saying that they are supporting the coup to better control Egypt, as “puppet administrations” are easier to control than democratic ones. Bozdağ stated that Egypt is surrounded by numerous monarchic administrations, adding that “those people [living under those administrations] might say: ‘Look how it went in Egypt; a great success was achieved. Why shouldn't this happen here to us?'” Bozdağ added that it is clear the monarchies in the Gulf are disturbed by the changes in Egypt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ağustos 2013, 22:56
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